The Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards operate in such a manner that in alternate years they present awards for Fiction & Children’s books in one year, and Non-fiction and poetry in the next. As a result, their shortlists reflect the best of TWO years in their genres. This year, we’re in a cycle of non-fiction and poetry, and the shortlists are …

Non-fiction (Sponsored by Killick Capital, Cox & Palmer, and Don Power)

  • Jenny Higgins for Newfoundland in the First World War (Boulder Publications)
  • John Nick Jeddore, Elder for Moccasin Tracks: A Memoir of Mi’kmaw Life in Newfoundland (ISER Books)
  • James McLeod for Turmoil, As Usual: Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Road to the 2015 Election (Creative Book Publishing)
The award was juried by Glen Carter, Marjorie Doyle, Elaine Janes.
The jury citation on Higgins’ Book  says it “includes literary material which makes it interactive and entertaining. It is unique in the sense that it is like being in a museum and touching the artifacts of the soldiers from so long ago.”
Jeddore’s book was praised as “an unsentimental record of a life lived, of a Conne River Indian who respects the tradition he was born into and recognizes its vulnerability to a newer age … Jeddore’s senses are finely tuned.”

As for MacLeod’s book, they say it “deked away from the safety of his calling as a legislative scribe, to reveal the truth about Newfoundland and Labrador’s topsy-turvy political tableau. Through his eyes, we scope the hiccups and at times hilarious struggles of imperfect politicians, whatever their political stripe.”

Finalists for the 2017 E. J. Pratt Poetry Award

  • Michael Crummey for Little Dogs: Poems Selected & New (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Robin Durnford for Half Rock (Gaspereau Press)
  • Patrick Warner for Octopus (Biblioasis)

 The award was juried by Andreae Callanan, Boyd Chubbs, Mary Dalton.

They wrote of Crummey’s anthology, “[His] poetry is in the tradition of Wordsworth, work that strives to capture everyday experience.  The New Poems section, which makes up about one-quarter of the book, displays those strengths and introduces a new note, exploring some of the harder truths about marriage, experience, and aging.”

They described Durnford’s books as “filled with longing: longing for the land and speech of outport Newfoundland, longing for a lost parent or grandparent, longing for a time before the current threat of ecological destruction. The collection is ambitious, navigating childbirth, parenthood, and teenage reminiscences without succumbing to the saccharine.”

And of Warner’s latest, they say “contemporary life is reflected at times through a Swiftian lens … Warner’s skill with image and the musical resources of poetry makes Octopus compelling technically as well as emotionally and intellectually.”

Crummey, nominated this year in the poetry category, won the NLBA last year in the fiction category.

Public readings by the finalists will take place as follows:

  • Poetry: Tuesday, April 25th at 7:30 pm, Eastern Edge Gallery, 72 Harbour Drive, St. John’s, NL. Hosted by E. J. Pratt Award jury member, Mary Dalton.
  • Non-Fiction: Wednesday, April 26th at 7:30 pm, Suncor Energy Hall, Memorial University, St. John’s NL. Hosted by CBC’s Ted Blades.
The winning authors will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 3rd at Government House in
St. John’s and will receive a cash prize of $1500 with the remaining finalists to receive $500 each.